According to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities archaeologists discovered a “Lost Golden City” that was buried beneath Luxor, an ancient Egyptian city. This discovery was made on April 8.
Amenhotep I (ruled 1391-1353 B.C. The city of “The Rise of Aten” was built by the grandfather of Tutankhamun or King Tut. People continued to use “The Golden City” even after Amenhotep’s coregency with his son Amenhotep V (who later changed his surname to Akhenaten), and during Tut’s reign, which was dominated by the pharaoh revered as Ay.
Archaeologists were unable to find its ruins despite the city’s extensive history until recently. According to historical records, it once housed three royal palaces of King Amenhotep III and was Luxor’s most important administrative and industrial center.
Zahi Hawass was the archaeologist responsible for the excavation at Golden City. He was also the former minister of antiquities affairs.
His team began their mission to find King Tut’s tomb shrine in 2020. Hawass says that the team chose this spot as “both Horemheb temples and Ay temples were in this vicinity.”
They were stunned when they began to find mud bricks all over the place they dug. They quickly realized that they had found a large metropolis in great condition. Hawass said that the streets are lined with houses, and some of them have walls as high as 10 feet (3 meters). These rooms were decorated with items and instruments that ancient Egyptians used.
Betsy Brian is an Egyptology professor at John Hopkins University. She says that the discovery of the ancient metropolis is “the second most important archeological finding after the tomb Tutankhamun” which was made in 1922.
“The Lost City will not only give us a unique look into ancient Egyptian life at the peak of their empire, but it will also help solve one of history’s most difficult puzzles: Why did Akhenaten choose Amarna over Nefertiti?” A few years after Akhenaten took control of Egypt in the early 1350s B.C. the Golden City was destroyed and Egypt’s capital moved to Amarna.
As soon as they found it, the crew began to pursue the Lost City. They began looking for artifacts bearing Amenhotep III’s cartouche seal. This is an oval with hieroglyphics that spells out his name.
The cartouche was found in wine jars and rings, scarabs, colorful pottery and mud bricks. It shows that Amenhotep II, the ninth monarch from the 18th Dynasty, was active at the time. After seven months of research, the researchers discovered many neighborhoods.
The crew found remnants from a bakery in the city’s south end. It contained food processing and a cooking area with ovens. According to the statement, this kitchen was huge and could have served large clients.
Archaeologists found a residential and administrative zone that contained larger apartments. It was located in a partially protected area of the site. The zigzag fence was a common architectural feature at the end of 18th Dynasty.
It only allowed access to one area, which connected to the residential sections. According to the proclamation the single entrance served as security precaution and allowed ancient Egyptians control who entered the city.
Archaeologists found a mud-brick manufacturing facility in another locale, which was used to construct temples and other annexes. These tiles were found with seals bearing King Amenhotep III’s cartouche.
Numerous casting molds of ornamental and amulets were also found, which indicates that there was a flourishing temple and tomb decorating line. Archaeologists found artifacts that were connected to industrial activities such as weaving and spinning all over the region. The workshop in which these items were made was also found.
There were several graves found, including two bull or cow burials and one unique human burial. The rope was tied over the legs and spread arms on the sides. Scholars are now studying these burials to discover more about their significance and how they were discovered.
A jar containing approximately 22 lbs (10 kilos), dry or cooked meat was just discovered by the crew. The inscription on the jar indicates that the butcher Luwy prepared dressed beef from Kha’s stockyard for the Heb Sed Festival in the year 37.
In a statement, the researchers stated that this crucial evidence “not only gives us the names of two people who lived and worked within the capital but also shows that the city was active during King Amenhotep III’s co-regency alongside his son Akhenaten.” A mud seal bearing “gm pa Aton” which means “the Kingdom of the Glittering Aten”, the name of the temple King Akhenaten established at Karnak, was also discovered.
Historical records show that the capital was moved to Amarna in the year following the creation of this pot. This was ordered by Akhenaten. He was well-known for telling his people to worship only one god, Aten the sun god. Egyptologists differ on whether he moved the capital, or if the Golden City was abandoned.
The statement also states that it is not known if the city was repopulated after King Tut returned from Thebes to restore it as a religious centre. Further research could reveal more about the turbulent history of the city. There is still much to be done.
Hawass said, “We will proclaim that the city stretches to Deir el-Medina,” referring to an ancient worker’s town in which the artisans and artists who built the royal tombs at the Valley of the Kings or Valley of the Queens lived.
Archaeologists also discovered a large cemetery towards the north that is still being explored. The team has discovered a series of rock-cut tombs, which can only be accessed via rock-cut steps.
This characteristic can also be found at the Valley of the Kings or the Valley of the Nobles. In the following months, archaeologists will explore these graves to find out more about the people who buried them and the artifacts that they discovered.